“Who is this Christ? Is he like you?”
Perhaps you’ve heard this story, often attributed to the life of St. Teresa of Calcutta. A sick man asked her this question, as he marveled at her tireless service to himself and others in the name of someone named Jesus Christ.
“He is nothing like me,” the saint is said to have answered. “But I hope I am like him.”
Though the authenticity of this exchange cannot be verified, is message rings perfectly true: all the value of our stewardship lies in its relativity to the one in whose name we perform it.
Consider the figure of John the Baptist — a magnificent, towering character even purely from a literary or historical perspective. A martyr who fed on wild locusts and boldly spoke truth to power — a man so great some mistook him for the Messiah.
But why is he great? Because he prepared the way. All his accomplishments and escapades mean nothing if they are taken out of the context of salvation history. He only makes sense relative to Christ — and this is exactly as he wanted it. “One worthier than I is coming,” he insists. And because of that humility and that total embrace of God’s will, he is given one of the greatest honors in the New Testament — he baptizes the Son of God.
Let’s examine our lives in the light of their relativity to Christ. How do we prepare the way? When Christ comes to us, what do we do? How do we leave ourselves open to be actors in God’s plan?
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS
PLEASE CONSIDER ONLINE GIVING
WHY DO WE DO THAT?
When an adult is baptized, there is a part in the ceremony when the newly baptized is vested in a white garment. It is symbolic of the changes that baptism brings in the life of the baptized as they are freed from the bonds of sin and brought into the saving grace of Christ. Realities that are so profound are symbolically presented so that we might better grasp and understand them.
Infants are often dressed in a baptismal dress, which is the baptismal garment. In some places, the bib is used as a kind of baptismal garment. At the place in the ceremony where the investiture takes place, the bib is used. Some are poncho-like and fit over the baby’s head. Others are simply places on the baby’s chest. If the baby is dressed in a white garment, nothing else is needed. The prayer says it all: “See in your white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity … bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.” In baptism, we are given our purpose and goal in life as believers, and this is symbolized by the white garment.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2022 | THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD